Nikki Seibert Kelley
How does one become passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and advocating for others who may not have resources in their community? Many people make it their career to improve access to healthy resources, while others fall into it by uncontrollable circumstances. Using a healthy diet to overcome some personal health issues was the spark that ignited Nikki Seibert Kelley’s passion for educating others and making a difference in the lives of strangers.
Through her company Wit Meets Grit, Nikki has worked with 12 organizations and businesses to increase their capacity and efficacy in reaching their goals, including the development and facilitation of several multi-agency projects. She has used her expertise in leadership development, coalition building, engagement, and agriculture to help create the Bamberg Health Coalition.
“Over the course of two years, the project has grown to include 70 organizations that have demonstrated an impressive level of collaboration and participation within the group, especially for such a rural and underserved county,” said Nikki. “The positive response from the members of the coalition has been incredible and a huge benefit of the work has simply been building connections and gathering people together to network.”
The Coalition has successfully developed a community-wide resource guide, hosted classes in raised bed garden construction, provided community cooking classes, supported the launch of a farmers market, and is currently supporting the development of a community teaching farm and garden.
“Healthy eating and active living are two empowering ways to increase the quality of life and in many cases, the length of life. Living in a time of technology and medication, I think it is more important than ever to help people get back to their roots and remember the healing power of growing and eating healthy food, socialization, exercise, and relaxation.,” says Nikki.
Nikki Seibert Kelley’s passion for changing the food system by getting involved in what can be a long, drawn-out process is just one example of being a leader in healthy eating and active living. Coalition building and engagement isn’t easy, but with the right, motivating people on board, anything can happen.